Have you ever wanted to do something different but stopped yourself because you knew nothing about it and had no idea how to move forward? Of course! We all have.
Many people have dreams and aspirations to fulfill, but they are intimidated by their lack of knowledge. Because of that, they halt in their tracks and stick to the things they do know.
Many of my clients and readers often approach me saying they would like to pursue a certain passion, such as being a writer, starting a business, becoming a chef, creating a clothing line, and so on, but they aren’t doing it because they don’t know what to do. That’s a pity because it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s a matter of taking the right steps and actions to get started.In this article, I’ll share 6 things you can consider if you’d like to tackle something new but aren’t sure how to get moving.
- It doesn’t matter if you know nothing
This isn’t a specific action but a belief to be addressed. It doesn’t matter if you know something or nothing. If you have a goal, you set it and you go out there and get it. As simple as that. Knowing nothing should never be a reason for not pursuing a goal, unless you don’t even want the goal to begin with. After all, all of us once started from a position of knowing nothing. Think when we were born and we were babies. None of us knew anything then. It was growing up that we acquired the skills and knowledge.
2 years ago I wanted to pursue my passion to help others grow. At that time, I didn’t know anything about the personal development industry. I didn’t know anything about how to create a popular blog, or what life coaching is about, or what it takes to be a good trainer or speaker. Yet, it didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion and creating a 11,000 subscriber blog today. It didn’t stop me from coaching hundreds of smart, talented clients to success or speaking to thousands in workshops and seminars. Knowing nothing doesn’t mean you don’t do it. It simply means that you just need to learn it first.
- Read up about the topic
I did a lot of reading when I first started out in ’08. I read Problogger and Entrepreneur’s Journey on how to create a popular blog. I read Copyblogger to learn more about writing good content and articles. I also laid my hands on the best selling personal development books to learn more about the topic. I did this intensively for a couple of weeks, which equipped me with a whole wealth of knowledge on how to get started.
I had a participant in a workshop tell me that he wants to be a better networker, but he doesn’t know how to get more information on how to. That shouldn’t be the case! There are so many books and websites out there today that you can easily read up about just anything you want to. Some places to start with – Google, Scribd (some great ebooks are listed here), blogs, your local library, workshops and seminars.
- Create a plan to start off
After I did the research, I created a plan on how I was going to move forward. My end goal to create a top quality personal development blog, with important resources to help people around the world achieve their highest potential and live their best lives. I had a 5, 3, 1 year outline, and a rough 6 month plan on what I was going to do and the milestones to achieve. My personal 5-step goal achievement framework, ESPER, was critical in bringing my goal to life.
I found from experience that you should just plan whatever is necessary to move forward. The objective of a plan is to empower you, not to hold you back. Some people let themselves be paralyzed by the whole planning process. They keep planning, and tweaking, and planning, to the point where they never take action at all. That shouldn’t be the case! Just plan to the extent where you’re comfortable, then get started.
- Study people who have already made it
There are so many people around the world that there’s bound to be someone who’s already doing what you want to do. Look out there and identify the people who have already succeeded in this goal. Then, learn from them. Study what they are doing and how they are doing it. Because they’ve been doing this for longer than you have, there will be something valuable to learn from each and every one of them.
When I first started out I spent a lot of time studying the bigger blogs, understanding . Even today I continue to do so for both the smaller and bigger blogs, since there’s always something to learn from everyone. Everyone has incredible ideas to share; it’s a matter of whether you’re able to learn from them.
- Consult people who have achieved the goal
If possible, connect with the people in #4. With the internet, it’s easy to reach out to such people. Drop them a friendly email to say hi and to express your intentions. If they don’t reply, that’s okay; if they do, then that’s terrific. As a matter of practicality, A-list folks are usually busy and unavailable, so try the B-list or C-list folks, who are very knowledgeable and more approachable. (By A-list, I refer to the best people in their respective fields.) A great way is to arrange for a lunch meet-up (if they live in the same country as you), get to know them better, then treat them to lunch as a thank you. Some of them have services you can sign up for, which is a sure way to get to them. Of course, only engage their services if you find value in them, and not just to get air time.
For myself, I find that doing steps 2-4 are more than sufficient to get me started (step #6). I see step 5 as a bonus step, but not the determining one, since you shouldn’t depend on others to help you (after all, they have their own responsibilities and projects). When I first started, I connected with a few other personal development bloggers, whom I continue to stay in touch today as good friends. They have been very helpful to me, and in return I try to help them out where possible too.
- Take the first, immediate step
Read all you want and plan all you want, but if you don’t take the step, nothing will ever happen. It’s only when you take action that your goal will begin manifesting itself.
Don’t worry about getting it right. As long as you do something, you’re making more progress than doing nothing. Even if you do it “wrongly”, you still get to learn from the experience, so it’s still a gain. For the goal you want to achieve, think about what’s the immediate thing you can do that will move yourself forward. Do it. Then, repeat the process. If you keep doing this, you’re going to be closer to the goal than before. It’s a matter of time before you’re living and breathing it. I know, because that’s what happened to me. Through consistently taking steps every day, today I’m proud of what I’ve created – my blog, my highly supportive readers, my coaching and training business, with many more great things to come in the future.
How about you?
Which tips can you use to get started? Do you have any tips of your own on getting started on a new goal? Feel free to share in the comments area.
|Written on 10/15/2010 by Celestine Chua. Celestine writes at Personal Excellence, where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her RSS feed directly and add her on Twitter @celestinechua. If you like this article, you will enjoy one of her top articles: 101 Things To Do Before You Die.||Photo Credit: John_Marshall|